A Day In the Life of Crystal

I know this isn't Chuck-related, but it's kind of writing-related, and this is a writing blog, so...yes. And besides, if some of you were wondering where the hell I've been, well, maybe this will answer at least a bit of that question. 

Anywho, I just had an in-class assignment for my Intermediate Fiction Writing class, where we had to write a short story of an event that takes place in a 24-hour period, summarized in 1-3 lines in hourly intervals. I had so much fun with it that I thought I'd share it with you all. Hopefully it gives you a laugh or two. :) Enjoy! 

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Crystal has a Literary History paper due at 12:00 noon. This is how she goes about practicing her time management skills in the 24 hours leading up to said deadline.

A Day In the Life of Crystal

Note: This story is based on true events. Actual times and types of distractions may vary. It should also be noted that a day in the life of Crystal may not be like a day in the life of a typical Stanford student. She's just crazy.

12:00 p.m.
Lunch time at the dining hall. She chats with friends about classes and midterms and stressing out over homework. She mentions that she hasn't even opened the Word document with the essay prompts yet, but it's okay—she still has 24 hours. Lots of time to get cracking.

1:00 p.m.
She goes to her Computer Science lecture. The professor's going on about some programming code called Python, but she's splitting her time between taking notes and chatting with Frea on gmail, and she's never been good at multitasking. It's alright, she tells herself, she'll go over the lecture notes they post online later.

2:00 p.m.
She decides to take a nap after class. It'll only be for an hour, and besides, she needs to start preparing for the all-nighter she'll inevitably have tonight.

3:00 p.m.
Her alarm doesn't go off. She might've realized that she'd accidentally switched "p.m." to "a.m." when she set the time if she hadn't gotten distracted by a Facebook notification via text message.

4:00 p.m.
She dreams of being trapped in Pokemon games and of marshmallow-powered flying. It'll probably be one of those dreams she remembers for years. 

5:00 p.m. 
Her friend comes knocking at exactly 5:33 p.m., asking if she wants to go to dinner. She curses her cellphone and her idiot mistake, then promptly brushes the thought aside and rolls out of bed. Dinnerrrrrrr.

6:00 p.m.
Her friends gape at her in disbelief. She waves it off. It's fiiiiiiine, she says, she's still got 18 hours.

7:00 p.m.
She bursts through the door of her room, flips up the screen of her laptop, and opens up a streaming link for the newest episode of Chuck, which has just been uploaded online. Sorry, paper. Priorities are horribly out of whack, which means television obsessions come first.

8:00 p.m.
Showertime. What? Procrastinating? Pfffft, of course not. Cleanliness is a virtue. 

9:00 p.m.
Mom calls. Commence endless mother/daughter chit-chat about anything and everything.

10:00 p.m.
Facebook. Self-explanatory.

11:00 p.m.
Wikipedia hopping. She's not sure how, but somehow she goes from an article on Stratford, Canada to the 1988 disaster on Aloha Airlines flight 243. She finds a 4-part Canadian t.v. documentary on Youtube and watches it.

12:00 a.m.
She boils some hot water for her Cup-A-Noodle and finally opens up the essay prompts and necessary reading materials to scan through. 12 hours. LET'S DO THIS.

1:00 a.m.
She can't do this. Commence stage one of freaking out. She goes online and dumps her drama on mxpw, who is already used to her late night, 11th-hour meltdowns. Being the awesome person he is, mxpw helps calm her down and guides her through organizing her thoughts and ideas.

2:00 a.m. 
Brainstorming is complete, outline is roughly thought out. She decides against the all-nighter and goes to bed, setting both her phone and iPod alarm for 5:30 (she's learned her lesson this time). Six hours to crank out a paper. Should be enough time.

6:00 a.m.
After rolling around and groaning for half an hour, she finally drags herself out of bed, makes another Cup-A-Noodle for brain food, and sits at her desk. Sets the Self Control program on her Mac to block all unnecessary websites. No more distractions.

7:00 a.m.
First page is complete. Books are open, permanently creased to specific pages, and blocks of texts are highlighted and marked. Sparknotes, Wikipedia, and various other helpful pages are open for reference and quick skim-throughs.

8:00 a.m.
Two pages are done before she hits writer's block on the second half of her argument. Commence stage two of freaking out. Unfortunately for her, no one is awake or online to calm her down this time. iTunes takes the wheel.

9:00 a.m. 
Writer's block is conquered, smashed, and laughed at! Three pages done. She's totally got this.

10:00 a.m.
Four pages done. She's not so sure about her argument anymore—is it strong enough? Crap, does it even make sense?  WHY DO THESE PROMPTS HAVE TO BE SO DAMN VAGUE?! She curses the class for the millionth time, decides she no longer cares, writes what she hopes to be a decent conclusion, and submits it online. Two hours before the deadline. TAKE THAT, LITERARY HISTORY. 

Next Lit. History paper: due February 21. 

Lather, rinse, and repeat.

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...For the record, I've got a 20-page short story for my Fic Writing class due on Thursday by 3:15. I've got two pages written. I just spent who-knows-how-long typing this out. Oh, the irony. No worries, though—I got this. (Don't kill me, mx!)


  1. Crystal! You're giving me an ulcer!

    Also, you're making me remember college. Ahhhh, the last minute paper. That's what it requires for the brilliance sometimes, you know.

  2. Ayefah16.2.11

    Crystal, get out of my brain. (You'd think that four years each of high school and college and three years of law school would teach me not to do things like nap when I have work to do, but you'd be wrong!)

  3. congratulations. it's a special type of brilliance that works better under pressure. i loved this walk through, did the same thing myself today, 3pm class and started the reading and writing at 12. gotta love it!

  4. Anonymous16.2.11

    So what did your teacher think?

  5. Haha. Typically, most of my papers come back with a B grade. In some rare cases (a.k.a. in classes I actually liked), an A-.

    Collleeeeeeege. Whoo!

  6. Ayefah17.2.11

    *procrastination high five*

  7. Oddly enough, this doesn't sound crazy to me.... I, myself, am a horrible procastinator/easily distracted. I cannot write an essay without added pressure and stress. Wonder why? No, really, why is that? Any theories?

    And how'd the history paper work out?


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